President Uhuru Kenyatta has, for the second time in as many days, cancelled tours of upper eastern and western Kenya.
On Tuesday, State House and the Jubilee Party said he wanted aspirants to focus on the political group’s primaries, which will be held next month.
“In the next few weeks, we will have finished printing ballot papers,” said Jubilee Secretary-General Raphael Tuju. “Many aspirants come from the places he wanted to visit. Due to this, we made a polite request that the President reschedules the tours to allow aspirants to verify their particulars.”
However, Ford-Kenya deputy party leader Boni Khalwale said the visits were cancelled because “the ground has shifted”. Said the Kakamega senator: “He has been informed that people no longer want anything to do with political agenda.”
Dr Khalwale then asked: “What projects are these that he wants to implement in four months that he could not do in four years?”
On Sunday, State House announced that the President would visit Tharaka-Nithi and Meru counties. The visits were postponed a day later and an announcement made to the effect that he would be touring Trans Nzoia, Bungoma, Busia and Kakamega counties.
“President Kenyatta wants aspirants to focus on this important democratic process,” State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu said in a statement. “He is keen to ensure that all processes are fulfilled as required by guidelines provided by the…institutions mandated to ensure credible nominations.”
At Jubilee headquarters, Mr Tuju added: “It is important for aspirants to come and find out if their names have been spelt correctly.
“They have to verify their photos or whether we have given them a go-ahead to seek nomination.”
The former Cabinet minister said the party had asked the Head of State to cancel the tours because aspirants’ details needed to be verified before Thursday.